Puranic encyclopaedia

by Vettam Mani | 1975 | 609,556 words | ISBN-10: 0842608222

This page describes the Story of Rukmi included the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani that was translated into English in 1975. The Puranas have for centuries profoundly influenced Indian life and Culture and are defined by their characteristic features (panca-lakshana, literally, ‘the five characteristics of a Purana’).

Story of Rukmī

General information.

King of the Province Bhojakaṭa in the country of Vidarbha. It is stated in Mahābhārata, Ādi Parva, Chapter 67, Stanza 62, that this Rukmī was born from a portion of the Asura named Krodhavaśa.


Father of Rukmī was the king Bhīṣmaka. Two children were born to Bhīṣmaka, named Rukmī and Rukmiṇī. (Mahābhārata Sabhā Parva, Chapter 31, Stanza 62).

Getting a bow.

Śrī Kṛṣṇa took Rukmī’s sister Rukmiṇī by force and married her. Rukmī did not like this and so he confronted Śrī Kṛṣṇa. In the contest Śrī Kṛṣṇa reviled him. Rukmī got angry at this and went to Kailāsa and did penance before Śiva. Śiva appeared before him after three years, and gave him a bow for destroying the enemies. Śiva told him that it would be broken, only if it was used against Mahāviṣṇu. After getting this bow he returned to Bhojakaṭa and lived there.

The details regarding Rukmī, given in the Mahābhārata.

(i) Rukmī accepted the suzerainty of Sahadeva at the time of his regional conquest. (Mahābhārata Sabhā Parva, Chapter 21, Stanza 62).

(ii) Rukmī paid tribute to Karṇa at the time of his regional conquest. (Mahābhārata Vana Parva, Chapter 254, Stanza 14).

(iii) The Pāṇḍavas had sent invitation to Rukmī for the Bhārata-battle. (Mahābhārata Udyoga Parva, Chapter 11, Stanza 16).

(iv) Bhīṣmaka, the father of Rukmī, was known by the name 'Hiraṇyaromā' also. Rukmī became famous throughout all the countries. He accepted Druma, a famous Kimpuruṣa (Kinnara) as his teacher in archery. Druma presented him with a bow called Vijaya. This Vijaya was on a par with the Gāṇḍīva. Rukmī fought with Śrī Kṛṣṇa and was defeated. The place at which he was defeated by Śrī Kṛṣṇa is known as Bhojakaṭa.

After having been defeated by Śrī Kṛṣṇa, a thought arose in the mind of Rukmī to keep amity and concord with Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Knowing this, the Pāṇḍavas invited Rukmī to their palace. He promised his help if ever Arjuna feared to do battle. At this Arjuna laughed and said that he was not in need of any help. After this Rukmī went to Duryodhana and promised to help him. But Duryodhana also rejected his help. (Mahābhārata Udyoga Parva, Chapter 158).

Death of Rukmī.

Discontented with everybody, Rukmī lived in Bhojakaṭa, having no contact with any body. During this period the king of Kaliṅga once approached Rukmī and advised him to challenge Balabhadrarāma for a game of dice. The challenge was made knowing that Balabhadra was not a good player. Knowing that to reject a challenge was not honourable, Balabhadra went to play the game. Rukmī won the first round of game. Staking everything, the second round of the game began and Balabhadra won the game. But Rukmī and the king of Kaliṅga did not accept the victory. All the kings who witnessed the game sided with Rukmī. Instantly an ethereal voice said "Balabhadrarāma has won the game." The friends of Rukmī did not accept the ethereal voice. They began to create a tumult in the hall. Balabhadrarāma who became furious at this ridicule took a pestle of iron and killed Rukmī with one blow. The rest of the kings fled from the place. (Bhāgavata, Skandha 10).

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: